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The FBI’s Collusion with Twitter
March 1, 2023
One of the most notable examples of censorship revealed within the files was Twitter’s censorship of the Hunter Biden story; a story originally published by The New York Post that revolved around a laptop once belonging to President Biden’s son that contained questionable material, some of which being shady business deals that could have potentially involved the current President.
The story was censored by Twitter and labeled as hacked Russian misinformation a month before the 2020 election, also locking the New York Post’s account in the process, all while Twitter executives admitted behind closed doors that they had no evidence to support the claim.
Yoll Roth, head of Trust and Safety at Twitter at the time, also admitted they had no evidence to back the claim. Nonetheless, they continued to censor the story.
What also makes the Hunter Biden story stand out among the Twitter Files was that the FBI was involved, telling Twitter a month before the Hunter Biden story broke to be wary of “Russian hack-and-leak” operations.
Twitter tried telling the FBI that very little Russian activity was feeding into the story, yet the censorship continued, as laid out in the lengthy Twitter Files Part 7.
That wasn’t the only role the FBI played in its collusion with the tech giant, though. The FBI also colluded with Twitter to suppress content they didn’t like either. The FBI’s contact with Twitter over time became constant and deeply rooted throughout Twitter (see first tweet to the right), as FBI personnel sent lists of accounts to Twitter and asked them to find a way to suspend or censor said accounts.
While that seems to have primarily affected the right, it did affect the left as well. This included censoring tweets that were clearly jokes (see second tweet to the right), like one tweet telling Republicans to vote on the wrong day.
Despite some being jokes, action was still taken against them, whether in the form of a deletion of the tweet or an entire suspension of their account. Twitter, whether by their own hand or by the request of the FBI, would shadowban, suspend, and put people on blacklists for content they disagreed with, and it was all done so without the public’s knowledge.